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Terry Griffiths was stood aside, and a special inquiry was appointed by the New South Wales Premier, John Fahey, on that occasion. These were not criminal matters. Mr Humphries's assertion was quite incorrect. The truth of the matter is that the only precedent that would be set would be if Mr De Domenico was not stood down.
I think Mr Moore later refined his arguments to say that there is no precedent for a parliament to compel a Premier or a Chief Minister to stand down a Minister. Indeed, that may well be the truth, but I think it is a fairly specious argument. The only reason why a parliament has not done so is probably that there is no precedent for a Premier or a Chief Minister doing what Mrs Carnell has done here in the ACT. In our case, Mr Speaker, I think that what we have here is a weak and vacillating Chief Minister who, for whatever reasons of her own, has refused to follow the accepted precedent - the decent practice, in fact - and stand aside Mr De Domenico. We also have here a minority government and the balance of power in the hands of people who have consistently said that they will not slavishly follow any one party. In fact, I look in vain for any evidence of that from Mr Moore or Mr Osborne.
Mr Speaker, we have heard from Mr Humphries about the process of the inquiry that must be held. I support those processes, but I do not accept that there is in any way an interference by the Government in those processes if they seek to expedite them. I had suggested that the Government attempt to expedite them by the provision of additional resources. I accept that that is not appropriate. I do not have much voice left, Mr Speaker. I will speak again if I regain it.
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Training) (11.02): Ms Follett seems to have caught the same bug as Mr Berry had the other day.
Ms Follett: And I know what to expect too.
MR STEFANIAK: It is not good. Mr Speaker, I wish to respond to a few points the Leader of the Opposition made. She mentioned a number of precedents. She mentioned Neville Wran. That was a somewhat different case. There are any number of precedents of people not standing aside where criminal charges have not been laid. There are two very well-known cases in the ACT. Ros Kelly did not stand aside, and last year, when many of us were not members of this Assembly, Ms Follett did not stand aside Mr Berry but stood by him despite the allegations against him. So, there are any number of precedents for Ministers not standing aside when criminal charges are not laid.
I think one of the biggest dangers in standing Mr De Domenico aside would be a presumption of his being guilty until proven innocent. Ms Follett talked about offensive statements. I think a fairly offensive statement was made by Mr Jeremy Pyner from the TLC, who said that there had been so many suppression orders that Mr De Domenico must be guilty. That is indicative of an offensive statement and shows a prejudice in relation to a matter such as this. This is an interesting matter, Mr Speaker. I note that even the media, who are normally absolutely scrupulous in calling for parliamentary standards and propriety, have indicated that in their opinion Mr De Domenico should not stand aside. My colleague Mr Humphries has mentioned a number of points which are very valid indeed. The fundamental tenet of our legal system is that people are innocent until proven guilty.